Where can I find information about candidates, including their financial statements?
Qualifying forms and financial reports for county candidates may be viewed in the Candidate Contributions and Expenditures section of this website.
What are the requirements to run for office in Pinellas County?
Generally, you must be a registered voter in Pinellas County and live in the county or district for which you are running at the time of election. Other conditions may apply for certain offices, such as length of political party affiliation for partisan offices or residency requirements.
How do I qualify for office in Pinellas County?
For most public offices in Pinellas County, a potential candidate must file the following forms:
Form DS-DE 9, Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository - must be filed before accepting any contributions or making any campaign expenditures
Form DS-DE 84, Statement of Candidate - must be filed within 10 days of filing a Form DS-DE 9.
For judicial candidates - Form DS-DE 83 - Statement of Candidate for Judicial Office
In addition to these two forms, during the candidate qualifying period for the office sought, a candidate must file the following forms:
- Candidate Oath (forms vary according to type of office)
- Disclosure of Financial Interest - CE Form 6, Full and Public Disclosure of Financial Interests OR a CE Form 1, Statement of Financial Interests (special district candidates only)
- A check drawn on the campaign account to pay the qualifying fee, unless the candidate is running for a special district office and opted not to have a campaign account OR
- A Certificate of Signature Verification, if qualifying by petition.
Write-in candidates are not required to pay the qualifying fee or collect petition signatures.
A candidate may not qualify for any other public office in the state, the term of which office or any part thereof runs concurrently with that of the office he/she seeks.
A candidate must also resign from any office required by F.S. 99.012(3) See next section.
See the Qualifying by Candidate Petitions page on this website for more information on qualifying by petition.
What is the "Resign-to-Run" Law, and how does it work?
See the Frequently Asked Questions -"Resign-to-Run" page on this website.
How can candidates assume an office without an election?
A candidate will automatically assume office if there are no opposing candidates in the race. A candidate may also be appointed to fill an unexpected vacancy in office without an election.
Where can I find information on running for office?
For county offices, the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Candidate Handbook is available online or upon request in hard copy from any Elections Office. You can call our Candidate Qualifying division at (727) 464-4987. The Florida Division of Elections also has a Candidate and Campaign Treasurer Handbook available online for state and federal candidates. Contact your municipal clerk for information about running for a municipal office.
What is a political committee?
There are two types of political organizations in Florida: political committees (PCs) and electioneering communication organizations (ECOs). A political committee is a combination of two or more individuals, or a person that spends or receives more than $500 during a calendar year to support or oppose any candidate, issue, political committee, affiliated party committee or political party. A PC may make independent expenditures. Florida Statutes 106.011(16)
What is an electioneering communication organization?
There are two types of political organizations in Florida: political committees (PCs) and electioneering communication organizations (ECOs). An electioneering communication organization is an organization whose election-related activities are limited to making expenditures or accepting contributions for the purpose of electioneering communications and whose activities would not otherwise require the group to register as a political party or political committee.
An electioneering communication is any communication that is publicly distributed by a television station, radio station, cable television system, satellite system, newspaper, magazine, direct mail, or telephone and that 1) refers to or depicts a clearly identified candidate for office without expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate but that is susceptible of no reasonable interpretation other than an appeal to vote for or against a specific candidate; 2) is made within 30 days before a primary or special primary election or 60 days before any other election for the office sought by the candidate; and 3) is targeted to the relevant electorate in the geographic area the candidate would represent if elected.
Florida Statutes 106.011(8)&(9)
Where can I find information on forming a political committee or electioneering communication organization?
Florida Statutes Chapter 106 of the Election Laws includes the definitions, limitations, requirements and other information about both types of political organizations in Florida. The Florida Division of Elections also has a Committee and Campaign Treasurer Handbook available online.